Embedding physical activity in schools is a critical way to give children and young people the opportunity to be regularly active and reap the physical, mental, social, educational and environmental benefits. 

Taking a “whole-school approach” is fundamental and The Health Improvement Commission have collaborated with physical activity experts, Teachers, Education Professionals and the Sports Commission to work alongside the Committee for Education, Sport and Culture to produce a Physical Activity Directive and a corresponding Be Active Framework.

The Directive describes schools’ responsibilities to support the development of a whole-school approach to physical activity. The Framework has seven areas to address and doing so will help schools align their practice with the Directive. It draws on the 'Creating Active Schools Framework'.

Over the coming months and years, the Be Active team will be working alongside school communities to help them adopt a whole-school approach to physical activity. Each school will receive ongoing and bespoke support to identify their areas of strength and identify opportunities for development to embed physical activity in their ethos. 

We will add to this page to share resources and tools to support schools to adopt the Be Active Framework. To find out more about the Be Active Schools Framework please contact Alun Williams.


• Visits were undertaken with eleven primary schools 

• All visits were attended by the headteacher plus, at various times, PE leads, Senior leadership colleagues, Sports Commission Staff. 

• Eight Schools have nominated Be Active leads – members of staff who are the key contact and responsible for overseeing the implementation of the Policy Directive in school. 

• Four schools have completed the Be Active Audit. Three audits are due to be completed by the end of 2023. 

• The Be Active team is now working with schools to make practical changes in response to the findings of each School audit.


Compliance with the activity directive 

•The four Schools that have completed Be Active audits have demonstrated that they are meeting the policy objectives of the activity Directive. In particular they have embraced a consistent approach to embedding physical activity throughout the school day. All four schools meet or exceed the requirement of a minimum of two lessons of PE per week 

Active travel is increasingly a priority. 

•The number of pupils travelling actively to and from school has increased significantly since 2020 according to the Primary Schools’ active travel audit (which was first undertaken in 2020). The growth has particularly been in blended travel where children undertake a combination of travel options in one journey that include cycling and/ or walking.

 Positive gradings for key indicator personal development and welfare in primary school OFSTED reports

 •Five primary schools have been inspected over the past eighteen months. Four Schools recorded 'Good’ grades and one school recorded 'Excellent’ for the personal development and welfare indicator. Physical Activity and the Physical Activity directive align most closely to the personal development and welfare indicator although it is recognised that physical activity is only one element to this indicator. 

Importance of measuring physical activity in and out of School

•All schools recognised the importance of measuring the levels of activity and seeing the impact of interventions such as playground initiatives, promoting active travel and increasing access to playgrounds and after school clubs. 

•Three primary schools have undertaken Moki trials over the past academic year. Moki fitness tracker is a tracker that has been specifically designed for use in schools.